A few crumbs…
“For you have rejected the Word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being King over Israel.”
1 Samuel 15:26
It was a miserable way for Saul to celebrate his victory over the Amalekites, the long-time enemy of Israel. Whilst he enjoyed the victory, he was to suffer serious consequences for allowing his impatience to dictate behaviour that was in direct violation of what God, through Samuel the trusted prophet of Israel, had told him to do. The Amalekites had alienated themselves from Israel hundreds of years earlier, by attacking the rear-end stragglers of the group as they journeyed through the wilderness after having left Egypt.
Their judgment time had come, but Saul chose to over-ride the instruction of God with his own perspective. All of us can identify with Saul. We too, “have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done.”
But it was the nature of the punishment that is very salutary. Saul lost his authority to reign and rule Israel because he chose to limit the Word of God’s authority in his decision-making. We can never be God’s people of authority, in God’s kingdom and in His purposes, if we will not acknowledge His authority or that of His Word. There is a great paradox in life. The more we seek to assert our independence and right of self-determination, even if it means disdaining the Word of God and its ability to speak into our lives, the less we rule and reign in life. The more we trust and rely upon the Word to guide us (notwithstanding the constraints it imposes), the more we find ourselves liberated and ruling over the events in life.
Jesus made it very clear that the problem with the Scribes and the Pharisees was that they neither knew the Word of God nor its power. Whilst it shaped their doctrines and their mental abilities, they refused to allow it to mold their characters and to speak to their hearts. They ‘reduced’ the glory of God’s ten broad directions for successful living to hundreds of laws and countess volumes of technical and legal slop. When we reduce God’s Word from being a personal letter to a technical manual, we are not far from the predicament of the Pharisees; having a form of godliness but denying its power.
Moses articulated that man did not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeded from the mouth of God. The Word, and the person of the Word, the Lord Jesus, is the source of our life. Nothing has changed. So crucial were Moses’ words of over a thousand years earlier that Jesus used them in his defense against Satan’s temptations in the wilderness.
If God incarnate, Jesus, found within such counsel the capacity to reign and rally against the onslaught of evil, how much more shouldn’t we who are of dust not cling to that which is eternal and which will never pass away? Not only will it be a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths, it will be sinew to our souls and iron to our wills, enabling us to stand and reign in ways we never imagined possible.
Blessings to you all,
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